My name is Nicola Natland and I am a designer/maker. Metalsmithing has been my main focus for the last eight years and I make jewellery using silver, copper and semi-precious stones. I like my pieces to have a message which may be quite obvious or it could be hidden waiting to be discovered. I am passionate about creating and I have been known to go off on odd tangents. Creating can very easily take over my life - I once had a full size paper mache cow on my kitchen table for a few weeks! I should probably mention at this point that I have a very understanding husband. I love working in lots of different mediums from leather to linen, paper mache, glass, the list is pretty long and I get very excited about learning new techniques. Maker, dreamer, procrastinator! Yep, that just about sums me up.
This blog has been born out of a pact I made with a good friend, artist Becky Bettesworth
. On August 23rd this year, we wrote a binding contract - on a scrap of paper, as you do - that we would both have a blog and an Etsy shop by December 1st, 2011. As I am a procrastinator by nature, maybe more of a dreamer than a doer, I knew that I would be more motivated if I had a deadline. I had already been musing for several months about what to name my blog. Every time I thought I had the perfect name, it turned out that someone had that great thought before me. I was wasting so much time trying to come up with a great blog name. To save my sanity I gave up thinking so hard, so here I am, it's me, Nicola Natland.
I first met Becky when our daughters attended the same school and one thing lead to another and in a moment of misguided, but enthusiastic madness, we decided to share a stall at several Christmas street fairs in Devon. The most important word in the last sentence is "street" - which is a word that we kind of brushed over in our excitement. Don't get me wrong, we knew that we would be outside when we booked our stall, but bathed in the warmth of an Indian summer, winter seemed a very long way away.
|I think that I am wearing at least 6 layers of clothing at this point!|
Anyone that has been to these wonderful Christmas street fairs in Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Totnes will attest to the fact that they are fantastic. Anyone that has had a stall there will agree that you have to be mad! Actually, you have to be bonkers! The first event at Totnes we had torrential rain, no customers and a gutter was gushing water onto our roof. Fun! We experienced the harsh reality of standing outside at night in the middle of winter in the freezing cold for several hours. Brrrr! At Dartmouth we nearly took off and flew into the river when gale force winds lifted the marquee off the ground and we both had to hang on to it for dear life. Think handglider! At every event we seemed to encounter new challenges. It was a case of just when you thought nothing else could go wrong it did!
The experience and boy, was it an experience from start to finish, is often recalled with the words "Were we mad?" And to be honest with you - yes, we were! But, I learnt so much - such as wearing lots of layers makes you the same shape as a Womble, but keeps you really warm, standing on cardboard does help to insulate you from the severe cold that will slowly creep up your legs, you can never have too much lighting and that a bar of chocolate, a cup of coffee and a hug can make the world of difference!
I now live on the other side of the world to Becky, she is in Devon, in the UK and I have moved back to California with my American husband. Our children are older and we are both moving onto the next stages of our creative journey. I would like to think that through our shared experiences in 2008 - the year of the Christmas street fairs - that we cemented a friendship that will last a lifetime.